Amanda Butcher Checks In from Bogotá

I am currently attending Colegio Anglo Colombiano, or The Anglo, in Bogotá, Colombia. I have been here for a little over two weeks, and my time here has been absolutely incredible.

I arrived a week before school started, which was a great opportunity to really explore the city and settle in. Living in Bogotá is a lot different than living in Danville, and I have grown to love life in the city. There are restaurants, parks, and a supermarket all within walking distance our apartment, and even more fun things to do just a few miles away. During the first week, Isabella took me to see many of Bogotá’s landmarks. We first went to Amanda 1Monserrate, a beautiful church located on top of a hill, with an amazing view of the whole city. We also got a chance to go to the Gold Museum and the Botero Museum, which feature beautiful artwork from across Colombia. Arriving early also allowed me to meet some of Isabella’s friends before school started, which I really appreciated. When I started school I already knew some familiar faces.

Everyone at The Anglo has been super welcoming and friendly, something I noticed on my first day at school. I’m used to just saying “hi” to people I meet for the first time, and greeting my friends with a hug when I haven’t seen them for a while. Here, you greet everyone, including people you just met, with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. It took a couple days to get used to, but now it just feels normal to hug and kiss everyone hello and goodbye.

Amanda 2Life at The Anglo has been both similar and different to life at Athenian. Similarly to Athenian, there is a strong focus on academics, especially because this is the first year of the IB diploma program, an academically rigorous international program. The daily schedule is also very hard to keep up with, classes are at a different time every day for different lengths–and sometimes they even switch classrooms. It is also different than Athenian. The biggest different is the uniform. Before I started school I was not looking forward to wearing a skirt, button-down shirt, and sweater Amanda 3every day to school, but now I really like it. Wearing the uniform helped me blend in with the rest of the students, and it’s actually nice not having to decide what to wear every morning. Also, unlike Athenian, almost everyone here has been in the same school since kindergarten, so everyone is very close and knows each other really well.

My exchange has been an amazing experience so far, and I am excited for the next two weeks! If anybody is considering going on exchange, I would 100% recommend it. It is an incredible opportunity to live somewhere different, meet new people, go on adventures, and learn more about yourself.

Amanda 5